States Are Lowering Their Estate Taxes to Lure Retirees

Several states are increasing their estate-tax exemptions.

It's not unusual for states to claim that they're terrific places to live. But increasingly, states are trying to get out the message that they're also great places to die.

In 2015, four states will increase the amount that's exempt from state estate taxes, reducing or eliminating the tax that heirs will have to pay. On January 1, Tennessee's estate tax exemption will jump to $5 million from $2 million, Maryland's exemption will increase to $1.5 million from $1 million, and Minnesota's exemption will rise to $1.4 million from $1.2 million. On April 1, 2015, New York's estate tax exemption will increase to $3.125 million from $2.062 million.

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Sandra Block
Senior Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Block joined Kiplinger in June 2012 from USA Today, where she was a reporter and personal finance columnist for more than 15 years. Prior to that, she worked for the Akron Beacon-Journal and Dow Jones Newswires. In 1993, she was a Knight-Bagehot fellow in economics and business journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She has a BA in communications from Bethany College in Bethany, W.Va.